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Dow Futures Lead Early Gains; Apple Downgraded, This Biotech Soars | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stock futures were once again off to high-step gains in Wednesday’s premarket session, after a strong start on Tuesday eroded into a bearish reversal.

XFutures for the Dow Jones industrial average rolled up 0.7% above fair value. Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures were ahead 0.5%.

Small caps outpaced Wednesday’s general premarket action, with Russell 2000 futures up 0.8% above fair value.

IBM Upgraded, Apple Downgraded; Juno Soars

IBM (IBM) traded up 1.6% to lead early action on the Dow. Barclays raised the stock to an overweight rating, from underweight. IBM announced Tuesday plans to launch a blockchain joint venture with Dutch shipping giant A.P. Moller Maersk, as a means of tracking and managing the company’s shipping containers across the entire industry.

IBM shares are up 17% from an August low, climbing the right side of a possible 11-month base pattern.

Apple (AAPL) sagged 0.3%, after a downgrade to neutral, from buy, from Longbow Research.  Apple reversed back below its 176.34 buy point on Tuesday, and has been fighting to decisively clear that mark since mid-December.

Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) swept up 51% ahead of the open, after news reports said the company was discussing a possible takeover by Celgene (CELG). The two companies have partnered on a number of drugs, including a CAR-T cancer treatment. The report said a could be reached in coming weeks. Celgene shares were unchanged in early action.

In earnings news, Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) rose 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, after reporting fourth-quarter results. Goldman remained in a buy range, above a 247.17 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.

Among other banks reporting, U.S. Bancorp (USB) climbed 0.9% ahead of the open. The Minneapolis-based bank reported a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter performance boosted by a surge in retail leasing revenue. The stock ended Tuesday at the very top of a buy range above a 54.45 cup-with-handle buy point.

Chip equipment maker ASML Holding (ASML) flipped a 6% premarket gain. The Netherlands-based outfit reported strong fourth-quarter revenue and earnings beats, although management’s first-quarter revenue guidance was below consensus expectations.

The stock briefly cleared a cup-base buy point at 186.47 in strong trade on Tuesday, but closed a fraction below that entry. The base is a second stage pattern. Wednesday’s premarket move implies a starting-bell breakout, although not all premarket moves carry over into regular trade.

Bitcoin Extends Slump

Bitcoin continued lower, trading just above $10,500, down 8% vs. late Tuesday’s levels according to Coinbase. Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related stocks were under mild pressure:

  • Riot Blockchain (RIOT):  down 2.1%
  • Mara Patent Group (MARA): down 2.5%
  • Bitcoin Invstment Trust (GBTC): unchanged
  • Overstock.com (OSTK): unchanged
  • Eastman Kodak (KODK):  down 1.2%

Factory Output, Builder Confidence Data;

Markets receive a healthy dose of economic news this morning, with the Federal Reserve’s December industrial production and factory output numbers due out at 9:15 a.m. ET, the January Builder’s Confidence Index at 10 a.m. and the Energy Information Administration’s weekly oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve also releases its Beige Book report at 2 p.m. ET.

Hong Kong Breaks 2007 Record

Overseas, China’s markets posted modest gains, just enough for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index to top its October 2007 record and move to new highs. In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.4%.

Europe’s markets were on negative turf, with Frankfurt’s DAX and London’s FTSE 100 each down 0.3% near midday.

Other Important Market News For Wednesday:

Stocks Reverse Lower; Why A Pullback Now Seems More Likely

Stock Futures Rally Back; This Top Chip Stock Blasts Past Buy Point

Another Day, Another Breakout; Two More Top Stocks Near Buy Points

False Leader Apple Losses Buy Point, But This iPhone Chip Stock Pops

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